Teen Drinking And Driving Drops 54% In 20 Years

Teen Drinking And Driving Drops 54% In 20 Years


Article Date: 03 Oct 2012 – 2:00 PDT


Ten percent of teenagers today say they drove while under the influence of alcohol during the preceding 30 days, compared to 22% in 1991; a drop of 54%, says a Vital Signs study published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Although this is welcome news, nearly one million teenagers (aged 16+) drove under the influence of alcohol in 2011. A teenager has a threefold higher risk of being involved in a fatal car crash than an adult, the authors wrote. If a teenager drinks and drives, the risk of crashing a vehicle or running somebody over is considerably higher than for anybody else.

CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said:

“We are moving in the right direction. Rates of teen drinking and driving have been cut in half in 20 years. But we must keep up the momentum — one in 10 high school teens, aged 16 and older, drinks and drives each month, endangering themselves and others.”

The CDC gathered and analyzed data from the YRBS (Youth Risk Behavior Surveys) from 1991 to the end of 2011. (More information about YRBS can be found at the end of this article). In these surveys, high school students are asked whether they have been behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol at least once during the preceding 30 days. The authors focused on teenagers aged 16 years or more. Read More…


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